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Analysis and Comment (13)

Many guns stolen from rural farm sheds are later used in crimes in the city. Many guns stolen from rural farm sheds are later used in crimes in the city. Bamcat/Flickr

Theft of guns from farms and urban crime inextricably linked

Revelations of the theft of firearms from Victorian MP Peter Crisp’s farm draws attention to a genuine but often overlooked link between farm crime and criminal events in urban communities. Discussions…
The Wassenaar Arrangement was designed for physical weaponry, so can it be extended to digital tools too? The Wassenaar Arrangement was designed for physical weaponry, so can it be extended to digital tools too? powtac

Cold War to cyber war, here’s how weapon exports are controlled

The Financial Times last week reported the UK government is pushing for new restrictions on software – in particular, on tools that would prevent surveillance by the state. This was the focus of negotiations…
Would you trust this guy with a surface to air missile? Would you trust this guy with a surface to air missile? Stop Killer Robots

Better to know your enemy when taking on a killer robot

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a network of NGOs and academics, has done us all a valuable service by drawing attention to the development of unmanned systems that are able to kill without direct…
A GB (sarin) filled M55 rocket, is destroyed. A GB (sarin) filled M55 rocket, is destroyed. US Army Chemical Materials Agency

Chemical weapons and the scientists who make them

It would take a hard-hearted person not to have been moved to tears by the images on our television screens of Syria over the last week - of infants struggling to breathe while their parents looked on…
The grim cost of conflict. The grim cost of conflict. Freedom House via Creative Commons

Syria casts its shadow as G8 leaders gather

President Obama’s confirmation that the United States would begin arming Syrian rebels has prompted an urgent debate about both the legality and the effectiveness of the decision. The announcement, ahead…
The approval of the first global arms treaty by the UN may be more a case of misplaced enthusiasm than cause for real celebration. The approval of the first global arms treaty by the UN may be more a case of misplaced enthusiasm than cause for real celebration. EPA/Inter Services Public Relations

Up in arms: why the UN’s weapons control treaty lacks bite

The United Nations on Tuesday approved the first treaty on the global arms trade which would regulate a business that amounts to over US$70 billion. There were 154 nations in favour, three against and…
Hunting game has been turned into a hunting game. Hunting game has been turned into a hunting game. TrackingPoint

TrackingPoint bolt-action rifles are game-changers, not a game

If you were born before 1985 there’s a good chance you watched Looney Tunes on a Saturday morning and followed the exploits of Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. Poor old Daffy, at times disguised…
The Legged Squad Support System has been designed to accompany war fighters into battle. The Legged Squad Support System has been designed to accompany war fighters into battle. Boston Dynamics

Meet Boston Dynamics' LS3 – the latest robotic war machine

On first viewing Boston Dynamics' latest creation, the LS3 (Legged Squad Support System), I could not help but be taken back to the AT-AT (All Terrain Armoured Transport) walker, as depicted in the Star…
It might seem like a natural corporate fit, but will politics get in the way of the merger between defence behemoths BAE Systems and EADS? It might seem like a natural corporate fit, but will politics get in the way of the merger between defence behemoths BAE Systems and EADS? AAP

Arms deals: making sense of the EADS-BAE super merger

It would be the world’s largest aerospace and defence contractor. Bigger than Lockheed Martin. Bigger than Northrop Grumman. And even bigger than the current global No. 1 defence corporation, Boeing. The…
An LED light-trail shows a self-guiding bullet correcting its trajectory mid-flight. An LED light-trail shows a self-guiding bullet correcting its trajectory mid-flight. Sandia National Laboratories

Self-guided bullets won’t stuff up, but what about the grunts and drones firing them?

At the beginning of this year Sandia Labs in the United States announced it had patented a design for a self-guided bullet that could help soldiers at war. The technology is expected to prevent the need…
EADS is one of the world’s biggest weapons manufacturers, but has a very low profile. EADS is one of the world’s biggest weapons manufacturers, but has a very low profile. AAP

The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of: EADS

Welcome to “The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of” – an ongoing series from The Conversation that sheds light on big companies with low profiles. Today, Monash University’s Remy Davison examines…